Monday, October 8, 2012

Small Press Finalist #24 - Lies of the Ball

Lies Of The Ball
Historical Fiction


She’s a runaway slave.
The man she loves is the one who could destroy her.

Southern beauty Mercedes Albright lives in the prettiest plantation house Mississippi has to offer. She hosts the most beautiful parties in the entire South, and dances as though she were the belle of the ball. Mercedes is the most eligible bachelorette in town. And she has a secret that if ever found out, it would ruin her for the rest of her life.

Careful laid plans put Mercedes in good standing with the wealthy socialites of Vicksburg. To her downfall, the man she falls desperately in love with is the man whose father sold her mother years before at the slave market. Mercedes was bought by another man and sent to live in another town.

Returning to the place of her birth, Mercedes has only one thing on her mind: revenge on the family who stole her childhood and ripped her mother from her arms. She never intended to fall in love with her enemy. She never expected he would learn her true identity. Now, she’s on the run again, but this time, it’s for a different reason.

Lies Of The Ball is an 87,000 word historical fiction set during the Civil War era.

First 150 Words:

Tangled undergrowth and briars scraped at Mercedes' leg and snagged her dress. The woods closed in on her, twisting and turning the overhead branches into ghostly silhouettes. Climbing vines wrapped around the swamp dogwoods creating a canopy above her, blocking even the smallest slivers of moonlight. Something slimy brushed against her arm and she clamped her hand over her mouth to muffle a scream.

Wood smoke filled the damp air and squinting her eyes, Mercedes made out the flames of a small fire sputtering through the thick brush. She began to run away but tripped on a half-rotted log and fell into a clearing. The men on the other side stood in a circle, spewing filthy words.

“He won’t run no more,” one man said, throwing his head back in dark laughter.

Shadows danced across the ground and looking up, Mercedes froze in fright. A slave hung from a rope.


Mallory Braus said...

Your premise intrigued me immediately and I was instantly pulled into the story with the high-tense opening paragraphs. I'd love to read more of this.

Please send me the complete manuscript in an .rtf file, along with a synopsis, to Address your query to my attention and indicate in your first sentence that you’re enclosing requested material from the GUTGAA pitch. In the subject line of your email, please type the manuscript's title, your pen name and the genre. All submissions will receive an auto-response acknowledging receipt. Please allow up to 16 weeks for a editorial response to your submission. We appreciate you patience while we give your project our careful consideration.

Mallory Braus
Editor, Carina Press

Unknown said...

We would definitely be interested in taking a closer look at this. The query is compelling, and the first 150 have me wanting more.

I'd be interested in reviewing the full manuscript.

Please send query and full manuscript to